Your basic rocket design: body tube, nose cone, three fins, engine mount, and parachute. It is basically and upscaled version of the Alpha.
The kit consists of:
The instructions were pretty straightforward. It is a basic rocket and the through-the-wall fin mounts certainly make it a lot easier to attach the fins. The slots for the fins are a little long, but I filled the holes with some CA. This isn't necessary though. The simple parts and large design also make it easy to assemble. The only problem is that the instructions tell you to attach the paper shock cord mount too close to the nose cone. I just tore it out and made another one. No big deal.
There were no special requirements to paint the rocket, it is an easy rocket to do a wild, intricate paint job on. The kit comes with stick on decals, which are OK but if want a seriously good looking rocket, don't use them. Also, if you do decide to use them, make sure you don't wrinkle them while you are putting them on as once they are on, you can't get them off.
Construction Rating: 4 out of 5
Estes recommends that you use a C11-3, C11-5, or D12-5. These are good motors to use if you have a larger field to launch it in, but a B6-2 or a C6-3 will take it up to a lower altitude with just as much glory without the increased possibility of losing the rocket. All you need to do is create a little adapter to go from a 24mm to an 18mm motor mount. The rocket is straight as an arrow in flight even with the smaller motors, and the TTW fin mounts certainly help on that aspect. Wadding is required to protect the parachute, but again, the size of the rocket makes it easy to use. The rocket is very high performing and has all around beautiful flight characteristics.
The rocket has a great recovery system, with the exception of one thing: the parachute is overly large. Even though the rocket is fairly large, it is so simple that it is still relatively light. An 18" parachute brings the rocket down far too slowly and if you intend to use a C11 or a D12, this definitely is a downside even in the slightest wind. I would suggest either making your own smaller parachute or buying a pre-made Estes 12" plastic one.
Flight Rating: 4 out of 5
I think that Estes did a great job with the Stormcaster. While it does have its few downsides, it is a great rocket and definitely a crowd pleaser. It is a fun rocket to build too.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Brief: This is a new Skill Level 1 kit from Estes designed to fly on the new C11 motors. It is a tall, BT-60 based 3FNC design with through-the-wall fins, and a 24mm motor mount. The kits parts were all in excellent condition. The BT-60 has 3 slots on one end of the tube for the TTW fins. Die cut fins were high quality, as were all the other parts. Elastic shock cord was longer than expected, ...